Author Topic: Any experience with OSHPark?  (Read 1538 times)

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Online SiliconWizard

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Any experience with OSHPark?
« on: December 16, 2018, 01:03:21 am »
Do some of you use OSHPark for your prototyping needs and if so, what's your experience?

Also, do any of you use it for non-OSH projects? Is it allowed or against OSHPark's rules? (I haven't found any clear statement of this so far?)
 

Online beanflying

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 01:15:39 am »
I ordered 3 of these LTZ 1000 reference boards https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/HfKcqjV3 about this time last year. Ordered 2nd December, Shipped 11th Dec and arrived just after Christmas.

Quality is very good and if you look up the KX LTZ1000 thread in Metrology you would find lots of pics of actual boards.

I can't speak from an uploaders point of view but as a buyer of a custom board from a member here  :-+
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 01:22:02 am »
OSHPark is a commercial PCB pooling service. It doesn't care if you do OSHW or not, though it does offer an OSHW hosting service if you would like to opt in for.

The quality is very good for 4L boards, and shit for 2L boards, but since it uses multiple back end fabs, YMMV.
Turnaround time for 2L boards in US is okay-ish, faster than most Chinese fabs unless you use the stupid expensive Hong Kong FedEx overnight service.
Turnaround time for 4L boards in US is kinda slow, but if you need a notch higher quality than most Chinese fabs' entry level service, and you don't want to spend $$$, then it is a good option.

They run a "communism" price model. The big board customers support small board customers.
If your boards are very small, you can get $1 boards with free US domestic shipping, which means they end up losing money on your order.
If your boards are larger, you pay much more than the price you pay from a Chinese fab, as OSHPark charges ONLY by area, not by panel.

One big downside is they don't offer special processes. Unlike many Chinese fabs which offer special mask color, customizable stack-ups and extra fine width/spacing, OSHPark only offers a single standard. If you can't squeeze your design to meet the fab's requirement, you're out.
If you are not after crazy high density designs, and you are okay with the purple soldermask, plus you only design small boards, then OSHPark 4L service can be very good.

Again, I strongly recommend against their 2L service. I got bitten a few times, mostly by mis-registration of soldermask and cutout routing. When you design with some mid-mounting fine pitch connectors with intricate cutouts, the tolerance can kill your design.
 
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Offline oPossum

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 01:23:23 am »
I have been using them since they where know as Dorkbot PDX PCB. Circa 2010 I think. At least 30+ orders. Always arrived on time and never a defect. I use them for boards that are a few square inches or less. Too expensive for larger stuff.

The is no OSH requirement. You may share you design via their website if you want, but that is not required and it defaults to not shared.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 01:28:24 am »
Thanks.

I actually just ordered 3 proto boards for my last project, so I will see (and report when I get them). The pricing is cheap and specs look promising. I liked how their site instantly analyzes your files and renders the PCB so you get to see there will be no interpretation issue.

The choice of options is of course limited (only 1.6mm for 4-layer PCBs for instance, my board is a 4-layer, meant to be 0.8mm board, but for prototyping, I don't really mind the added thickness.)

I'm wondering about the use clauses as I stated above. Do the projects we submit automatically get shared? (I doesn't appear so as there is a required action to share your project apparently, but I'm not sure whether you still keep or lose the copyright once you submit a PCB, or what happens to confidentiality, so if anyone has info about this...)

Edit: replied while some of you replied also, so my last paragraph basically got answered. Thanks. Yes I noticed the price was very interesting for small boards and less so for bigger boards. The board I submitted is about 84x39mm and pricing was on par with PCBWay with similar options (a bit cheaper actually, given that I need ENIG finish which is by default at OSHPark but raises the price significantly at PCBWay).

Thanks for the warning about 2-layer PCBs.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 01:35:22 am by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline radioactive

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 02:30:46 am »
The 4 layer pcb offering from OSHPark includes a FR-408 dielectric material.  Very good for repeatable results with regard to permittivity.  This is a very nice attribute for the reliable production of microstrip bandpass filters where standard FR-4 glass/epoxy ratios vary too much.  Especially smaller ones where the cost probably can't be beat...

I'm also enjoying JLPCB that others pointed out on this forum for general purpose 4-layer needs.  Both very good services in my experience so far.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 02:47:58 am »
Haven't used their PCB service but have always found OSH Stencils to work well.  Same people?
 

Offline Jester

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 03:16:37 am »
I used them a few times, no problem with any of the boards (they were all simple two layer). I will continue to use them when I want a low cost board and I'm not in a hurry.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 04:39:35 am »
Haven't used their PCB service but have always found OSH Stencils to work well.  Same people?

No.

I’ve done three stencil orders from OSH Stencils and they’ve all been fine. Get the metal stencil.
 

Offline Bratster

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 06:26:57 am »
I've used them for multiple two-layer boards and never had an issue.
But not necessarily super fine pitch.

 I do know that cutouts used to not be officially supported so that maybe where the other commenter had issues.

Cutouts are now officially supported when done certain ways.

For tiny boards they are awesome. Once you start getting a bit larger though they are definitely not as appealing.

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Offline Deku Tree

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 06:45:47 am »
I ordered a few 2L boards a while back and they came out great. Fast shipping, but I did pay extra for that. One thing I noticed (and this was one of my first PCBs) was that their 2L boards are rather thick compared to other companies I've seen.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 11:59:31 pm »
I ordered a few 2L boards a while back and they came out great. Fast shipping, but I did pay extra for that. One thing I noticed (and this was one of my first PCBs) was that their 2L boards are rather thick compared to other companies I've seen.

Did you measure with calipers? It should be 1.6mm +/- 0.076mm or so (5%).
I'll have to check if I still have mine around.
 

Online beanflying

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2018, 12:22:32 am »
Damm that reminds me I have an NEED to spend a weeks food budget on the rest of the bits to populate my third Vref  :palm:

Two layer measured in a few spots 1.51 - 1.52 mm
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Offline bugrobotics

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2018, 04:07:33 pm »
Used them for years for close to 60 two layer 1.5mm thick designs.  Excellent quality and support.  Never used them for 4 layer boards.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2019, 01:13:38 am »
Just a quick follow-up.

I received the PCBs today. It took almost 3 weeks overall, but most of that was due to the free shipping option I chose (just wanted to try the cheapest possible option I could), so I can't blame. According to OSHPark, the fabrication itself took 5 days from order to finished, so it was not bad at all. The free shipping has the added benefit of absolutely NO customs nor VAT fees (going through USPS and then local post). :)

Now first impressions on the boards themselves, which are 4-layer boards.

  • The boards are delivered as is in an envelope. No additional bag, vacuum sealed or otherwise, not even a rubber band to keep them together.
  • Obviously the solder mask is purple. I don't really mind. It's actually a rather dark purple, so just like with black solder mask, the copper traces are not very visible. You may or may not care. Could be a bit annoying if some debug is needed, but it's really a minor point.
  • The silk screen's quality is very good. Even better than PCBWay and PCBCART (which are not bad at all).
  • Finish is ENIG. Nothing much to say here, fine job overall.
  • The diameter of small vias looks a bit larger than what was in my drill file. I don't have accurate measurement tools with my inspection microscope, but compared to the same board that I have had made at PCBCART, it's noticeable. Those are 0.35mm drill vias. Looks like they used a 0.4mm drill without modifying the pad rings, which thus look visibly thinner. Not a major issue, but the PCBCART boards don't exhibit this problem.
  • The milling job is... debatable. The edges have attach points (like those you get when you order panelized PCBs instead of individual ones, but the 3 PCBs are delivered as 3 individual ones. It's probably due to their manufacturing process, but you have to smooth the edges manually. You know you'll get that when your order panelized PCBs, but I don't expect that kind of finishing when I order individual ones.

That's all for now. Good value for small boards, but not quite perfect.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 01:16:50 am by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Any experience with OSHPark?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2019, 10:08:56 am »
I have used them about a dozen times for two layer boards and had two orders that they redid.

They redid my most recent 2 ounce, 2 sided order, twice: first because the top layer solder mask significantly encroached on the pads despite a 3 mil set back, and then because they exposed some copper 20 mil from the board edge, when they separated the boards at one of the breakout tabs. I have attached a picture so folks can see the tabs SiliconWizard mentions, that you may have to file off.

OSHPark has always been very helpful and prompt about redoing boards.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 10:12:25 am by jfiresto »
 


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